I have been looking forward to a forage into Totnes for over a week - and managed it today. My hubby was out all day so I didn't have any deadlines to be back for meals etc. I met a friend in town and we had a cappuccino together, and then I Let Myself Loose in the fabby fabby card making shop we've got - I usually try and keep away, or tie my credit card in a big knot before going anywhere near it as it's such a big temptation!
I've been thinking of getting a cutting and embossing machine, and have done a bit of research online, and had more or less decided I'd get a Spellbinders Wizard, but wanted to see it (and possibly some other machines) in action before committing myself, and was sure our local shop could help.
The man who runs it is extremely knowledgeable and I thought in the first instance that I'd ask him what he thought about which machine was best. I told him I was thinking of getting a Spellbinders Wizard, and he immediately said, "I wouldn't recommend it. I do stock them, and I've sold 5, and 2 of those came back! I've sold over 300 Cuttlebugs. I can show you them if you like." I did like, so he got the shop's Cuttlebug out and showed me how it worked, and I had a go myself. It was soooo easy and the results were stunning! I didn't feel it necessary to see the Wizard after that, especially after what he'd said. He said he thought the Cuttlebug was best, and was cheaper than the Wizard too. He confirmed that all the dies are interchangeable, so I'd be able to use the nestabiltiies etc. with it. I'd only gone in for advice, and came out with a Cuttlebug!!!
I am absolutely thrilled with it. One feature which practically sold it to me was a super little design extra - it's very compact when folded, and when you fold the 2 platforms down, they automatically activate a suction plate on the bottom so the machine doesn't move! Somebody's really thought about it...
While I was in there I stocked up on quite a few things. I've started a rather ambitious project for my special friend in Plymouth who shares the same birthday as me - this year she's 80. I've decided to make her a combined present and card, in the form of an "explosion box" with loads of fun things in it. I've decided to put a pop-up sunflower in the centre, which will jump up like a jack-in-the-box when you take the lid off, and I've spent all evening making it! I've been trying to find a spring to make it work, without success, and eventually looked up "how to make a jack-in-the-box" on Google, and found a very ingenious "spring" made of folded paper strips which is brilliant, but it bends too much. I've enclosed the bottom part in a tube to support it, and I'll decorate that with leaves, I think.
I embossed the brown centres of the 3 sunflowers with my new Cuttlebug (Swiss dots design) and they look great!
The theme of the box is flowers, because she loves her little garden. I'm going to attach some flowers on strips of acetate (cut from old Easter egg packaging) which will wave about when the box opens, and there will be pockets on the various flaps of the box, which will have little tiny pop up cards and fun messages in them. The colour scheme is mostly pinks and greens.
I was also absolutely delighted to find on Ebay the other day, a large set of rubber stamps of varying designs, and stamp pads and a few other odds and ends, in a nice carrying/storage case. I reckon the whole thing was probably worth over £50 and I won it for £6!!! It's now on its way. I've not done much in the way of stamping, and am very keen to get going with it.
After my busy day in town (which ended with a weekly food shop in Morrisons) and spending all evening working on Pam's box, I'm feeling on a bit of a high, and hope I haven't overdone it - I need to be on good form tomorrow because we're going out for a meal with my mum and dad.
I'll keep you posted with the progress of the box, and post some photos too. Meanwhile, here's a photo of another card I made back in 2005: